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Fulani Herdsmen Most Hard-working Nigerians, Have Reasons To Be Hostile -Prof. Ango Abdullahi

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 10:48pm


Prof Ango Abdullahi

Prof Ango Abdullahi

 

Prof. Ango Abdullahi, a chieftain of the Northern Elders Forum, says
Fulani herdsmen are the most hard-working Nigerians though accused as
being responsible for insecurity in Nigeria.

Speaking on Wednesday with journalists in Bauchi, he said, “They have
now become an object of politics, for every bad thing that happens in
the country, now it is Fulani herdsmen. They have forgotten that the
Fulani herdsmen get nothing from the government.

“The Fulani herdsman was better off when the British were here. The
British created track roads for Fulani herdsmen created veterinary
clinics for them, created cattle markets and so on for them having
realized that they contributed significantly to Nigeria’s economy
particularly in the agricultural sector and livestock production.

“Look at subsidies that are going to our farmers, you go and check if
you will find out what subsidy goes to the herdsmen, nothing. You are
having subsidy for electricity, you are having subsidy for water, you
are having subsidy for roads, yet the Fulani herdsman has no subsidy
whatsoever and he is the most hard-working Nigerian today but he is
now being maligned as the cause of insecurity.

“His animals had been stolen and sold in the city, so when you
deprived him of his animals what do you want him to do? He will be
hostile.

“We should revive all the abandoned cattle routes from Niger
downwards. There are 600 neglected grazing reserves in northern
Nigeria alone. What you need to do is to rehabilitate them. I think
this is the little you can do for the herdsmen.”

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South-South Governors Vow To Confront Buhari Over NDDC Appointments

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:45pm


 

State governors in Nigeria’s South-South region have vowed to confront President Muhammadu Buhari over the lopsided composition of the board of Niger Delta Development Commission.

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, who addressed journalists at the end of an emergency meeting of the nine oil producing states, said the governors would meet the President to review the appointments.

The meeting was held on Thursday night in Abuja at the Bayelsa State Governor’s lodge, Maitama.

Dickson said, “We are all concerned about the governance process within that critical development agency.

“We are aware of the general dissatisfaction in the region and other states. We are also concerned about the recent appointments that have been made and arising from all of these, we want to use this opportunity to call for calm in all our states and across the region.

“We intend as a body to have audience with President Buhari in no distance time to discuss in greater detail our views on some of these critical issues affecting the NDDC, so that it will be repositioned for greater efficiency and effective governance mechanism.”

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Police IG Orders Deployment Of Helicopters To Tackle Crimes

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:39pm


 

In a bid to curb the rising crime wave in the country, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of helicopters to patrol major cities across the country.

Adamu said this on Thursday as he enjoined citizens not to panic whenever they sight police helicopters.

A statement by spokesperson for the police, Frank Mba, said, “As parts of efforts aimed at effectively curtailing crime in the country, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of police aerial surveillance helicopters to major cities in the South-West and North-West of the country.

“While the Police Air-Wing Operational Base in Abuja caters for Abuja-Kaduna highways as well as the adjoining states in the North-West and North-Central, the new base in Ondo State will cater for the adjoining states and highways straddling the South-West.

“The force, therefore enjoins citizens not to panic but to go about their lawful businesses as the aerial surveillance is geared towards improving the security of lives and property in the affected areas.”

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NFIU Law: LGAs Get Allocations Regularly, Says Osun Government

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:37pm


 

The government of the State of Osun has said that local government authorities in the state get their monthly allocations promptly.

The government, through a statement by the Supervisor, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mikhail Adebisi, said there was no time the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola flouted Nigeria Finance Intelligence Unit rules by diverting funds meant for the various council areas in the state from monthly federal allocations.

The Osun government was reacting to a report published by Sahara Reporters on Tuesday where it was revealed that the administration had been diverting funds meant for local government areas.

According to the report, the Osun government had disbursed local government funds it received from the Federation Account only three times in the last 14 months, flouting the NFIU law binding on all states of the federation in the process.

The report also said that workers were being paid between the end of the second week and the beginning of the third week of the subsequent month as a result of this illegal deduction, which sees funds meant for local governments being transferred from a Wema Bank account credited by the Federal Government into a Zenith Bank account for two weeks to yield interest.

The report added that what local governments in Osun got from March 2018 to May 2019 was less than 10 per cent of the actual allocation of the amount that should have reached them.

It further stated that the sum of money lodged in the special purpose account monthly to be in excess of N3bn on the average.

But debunking the allegations on Thursday, Adebisi said that the administration of Governor Oyetola had been transparent in the handling of what should get to the local councils.

He added that the administration had been transparent in the manner in handles funds meant for every tier of government.

He said, “Local government funds from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee go to Zenith Bank, which is their main account, whereas their (LGs) salary account is domiciled in Wema Bank.

“It is important to note that funds are usually moved from Zenith Bank to Wema Bank for the purpose of salaries and pension payments.

“It is, however, important to state here that under the law, salaries, which includes those of teachers in elementary and middle schools, workers at local governments and other mandatory deductions like contributory pension and five per cent traditional rulers’ allowances, is on first line charge.

“As such, these components are deducted at source. There was no time the government ever diverted any money meant for the local government areas.

“Local Government Areas in Osun get their allocations regularly. There is nothing in the current arrangement in the state that is suggestive of funds diversion.

“We are determined to run an open and transparent administration and we remain accountable to our people at all times.”

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Like Lukaku, Sanchez joins Inter Milan From Man United

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:23pm


 

Alexis Sanchez joined Italian giants, Inter Milan, on a season-long loan deal from Manchester United, on Thursday.

Sanchez, 30, has endured a miserable time in Manchester since joining the Red Devils in January 2018 as reportedly the highest paid player in the English Premier League.

The Chilean scored just five goals in 45 appearances for United and has not featured so far this season.

“Alexis Sanchez is officially an Inter player. The Chilean has joined the Nerazzurri from Manchester United on a loan deal that will last until 30 June 2020,” Inter said in a statement.

Sanchez will join forces with former United teammate, Romelu Lukaku, who moved to Italy in a $73m deal earlier this month.

United have cut their losses on the former Barcelona and Arsenal star, but are still reportedly set to pay a large chunk of Sanchez’s £400,000 a week wages after his form and fitness deserted him over the past two seasons.

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African Games: Falconets Beat Cameroon to Win Football Gold

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:18pm


 

Nigeria’s U-20 team female football team, Falconets, emerged champions of the women’s soccer event of the 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco on Thursday, after defeating Cameroon 3-2 on penalties.

The keenly-contested game ended 0-0 after regulation and extra time at the Stade Boubker Aamar outside Rabat.

Falconets are one of only four teams to have featured in every edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup since inception 17 years ago.

The victory was the first gold for the Falconets at the African Games in 12 years, having not qualified for the 10th edition in Mozambique in 2011, and finishing outside the medals’ range in Brazzaville four years ago.

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Nigeria Takes Delivery Of Calibration Aircraft

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:15pm


 

The Nigerian Government on Thursday took delivery of a calibration aircraft worth $8.5m that will serve in the calibration of navigational aids across Nigerian airports.

According to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the aircraft would help make Nigeria’s airspace safer.

Sirika, who disclosed this via his official Twitter, said, “Just received new calibration aircraft for the country. (The) make is King Air 350i. Cost is $8.5m.

“The agony of contracting it to South Africa at about $500,000 every six months is over. Our airspace is safer. Thanks Mr President, we started and finished during your regime.

“The purpose of this aircraft is to calibrate our equipment and aids in the country for the purpose of flight operations. We used to have one in Nigeria but for the last two decades, we never had one.”

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IPOB Will Fizzle Out With Igbo President in 2023, Ohaneze Youth Council Says

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:11pm


 

President-General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, has said that the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction will cause the Indigenous People of Biafra to ‘fizzle out like a vapour’.

He made the statement while speaking with journalists in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on Thursday according to a report by PUNCH.

He said, “With the realisation of Igbo presidency in 2023, Igbo will be happier in Nigeria and activities of IPOB will fizzle out like a vapour.

“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has already commenced consultation with Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum, and Coalition of Northern Groups with the intention to seal the bond that has been existing between them as old allies since 1960.”

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Construction On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway To Be Completed December 15

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 4:07pm


 

The Federal Road Safety Commission has said major construction work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be completed by December 15 2019.

Funsho Adebiyi, Director, Federal Highways, South-West, said they will resume work on September 2.

He said, “Work is starting on September 2 and by December 15 we should be through.”

Adebiyi made the revelation during an inspection of the inter-state route, according to News Agency of Nigeria.

He added, “We have instructed our contractors to make adequate signage available, as well as lightening systems, reflective materials and other diversion signs to cope with night trips.

“I want to beg that all road users should please comply with these simple rules, drive safely, drive slowly especially around diversions.”


 

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EXTRA: Four Things that Happened During Kalu’s Criminal Trial

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 1:35pm


The trial of criminal allegations against Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia State, ended with less exciting headlines on Thursday but there were some hilarious moments.

Justice Mohammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, adjourned the case till October 22 for parties to close their arguments. This was after a long session of examination and cross-examination of witnesses.

However, before the trial was adjourned, there were pockets of moments when everyone took time to laugh despite the severity of the case—39 counts charges on money laundering and conspiracy being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Overzealous bodyguard and smiling defendant

Kalu had taken the leave of the court to briefly step out while the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, was cross-examining the second defendant, Ude Udeogu, Kalu’s Commissioner for Finance when he was governor of Abia State.

Going back into the courtroom, journalists took the opportunity to get fresh pictures of the former governor but the bodyguard would have none of it.

The bodyguard, dressed in a suit and ready to prove to his boss that he is worth his pay, expertly shielded Kalu from camera clicks.

“It is enough. Haven’t you taken enough pictures,” he asked. 

A smiling Kalu quickly cautioned him to allow the journalist to do her job.

“Allow her, allow her. Let her take pictures,” he cautioned.

Scandalous questions-free zone

The defence counsel had brought an expert witness to testify in the defence of Udeogu. The witness, a banker with over 20 years’ experience, gave expert opinion on banking procedures as it regards liquidating bank drafts and cheques.

Time for the prosecutor to cross-examine the witness, Jacob, bent on discrediting the witness, began asking questions to impure on the witness’ testimony. At a point, he said to the witness, “I put it to you that you were sacked from your former job as a banker.” 

The witness cleverly responded, “If you show me evidence of that, I will respond accordingly.”

He asked again, “I put it to you that you were sacked and no bank would hire you afterwards.” 

Awa Kalu, legal counsel of Kalu, had had enough, he stood up and asked the judge to caution the prosecutor from asking scandalous questions.

“Don’t ask scandalous questions,” the judge cautioned.

Justice Mohammad Idris does not fly

The cross-examination ended a few more questions after Jacobs was cautioned. The baton was passed to KC Nworfor (SAN), the counsel for the 3rd defendant, to produce his witness. Unfortunately, the senior advocate could not. He told the court that he was not satisfied with the witness provided to represent the bank. He then asked for an adjournment, however, with a caveat that the court has the discretion not to entertain his request adjournment.

The judge took the option and denied the request for an adjournment. Consequently, Nworfor was forced to close his case. But in justifying the reason for denying the request, justice Idris said he has had a busy week and also needed to return to the Appeal Court for the election tribunal.

To drive home his message, the judge told the court that he does not fly and has had to travel by road from Rivers State. 

“I had to go by road because I don’t fly,” the judge said repeatedly. 

This led to laughter from lawyers and journalist, who had maintained a pin drop silence throughout the proceeding.

Kalu pose for the cameras

The case was adjourned and the defendants were let out of the witness box. Kalu again had to contend with insatiable journalists waiting to capture him with their cameras.

The former governor, looking at the camera held by Sahara Reporterscorrespondent, jocularly asked why the journalist was running to take his picture.

“Why are you running? I am here. You can take my picture as many times as you want,” he said.

In all, it was a loaded day at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, as proceedings in the courtroom and events within the premises combined to provide an irresistible attraction for all present.

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Sowore's Detention: Questions For Justice Taiwo Taiwo By Shaka Momodu

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 12:56pm


Nigerians wanted a messiah. They got one, or so they thought. His coronation was loud and boisterous. In faraway countries, people danced in joyous rhythm and celebratory backslapping. It was supposed to be a new dawn premised on change. The emotion was infectious, as people lost in momentary covetousness suspended their reasoning. Some trekked long distances in celebration of Muhammadu Buhari’s victory. Where are the trekkers now? Many even called him god. It was as much a celebration of the people’s power to change a leader they were fed up with and an occasion befitting the hopes and expectations that heralded the new dawn. He had adopted an amenable persona of a reformed democrat that lured many to believe he had truly come to save the people, but a darker side not discernable to many was shielded with an odious incorrigibility mien.

The former was magnified by desperate power buccaneers to hoodwink a gullible nation with the sweet promise of change and restructuring of the country when they had no intention of actually doing so. It is obvious they merely used it as a vote-catching gimmick.

As I have stated time and again, restructuring is the only pathway for Nigeria if it will not remain a forever-potentially great country. There is simply no alternative to restructuring this country. Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, and his fellow travellers can continue to delude themselves for as long as they wish on this issue.

It did not take long after President Buhari assumed power for the real menacing man to bare his teeth; their hero started trampling on our diversity, the rights and freedoms we all once knew. And enchantment gradually gave way to disillusionment. Even more worrying is the incompetence oozing from him has moved to the “next level”. To insult us further and to the utter consternation of many, the man, who was advertised as the champion of anti-corruption, has since shown a remarkable lack of transparency in the running of the country’s affairs, appointing people with serious corruption allegations hanging over their heads to the cabinet.

His new cabinet nominees with the exception of a few, which took him five months after his purported re-election and two months after taking the oath of office to put together, is a constellation of “my corruption allegation is bigger than yours”.

Same goes with the National Assembly and its phoney leadership. It is now a huge home for suspected looters. Imagine Senator Aliyu Wammako, who is under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged N15bn fraud, was named the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes. With his role, Wammako and other members of the committee will carry out oversight functions on the EFCC! We all saw the joke called ‘Screening of Ministerial Nominees’ the Senate conducted. After watching clips of the nonsense, I realised why Buhari and the All Progressives Congress chose Ahmed Lawan to lead the Senate. The so-called screening was one of the biggest testaments to Nigeria’s descent into ignominy.

A shameless display of how unserious we are as a people. Many Nigerians were broken and filled with righteous anger. Words aren’t enough to describe the feeling of melancholy about the screening. The senators who were supposed to do the people’s work by asking the nominees the right questions to ascertain their fitness for the job based on their records, were laughing at Nigerians. They were mocking us and having a good time at our expense. Their demeanour and attitude were generally lackadaisical. Senators – oh suspected treasury looters took turns, showering praises on fellow suspected thieves even calling them patriots, nationalists, etc. explaining why there shouldn’t be a rigorous interrogation of the ministerial nominees and that they should be asked to “just take a bow and go”.

It was a shameful spectacle beamed live on television. It was one of those moments you would want to punch the television in a desperate bid to reach those jokers for insulting our collective intelligence, honour and dignity. Our country has been captured. Which way Nigeria?

The country is dying in slow motion and the person responsible for its gradual demise is the president and his supporters. Nigeria is choking as the noose is tightening around its neck. But the ruthless hangmen aren’t about to end the pain and agony. They are watching, laughing, grinning and patting themselves on their backs.

The atmosphere is saturated with fear and anger. People feel so vulnerable and insecure. And no one is to blame other than Buhari. But some supporters of the architects of this tragic and desperate state of affairs have been dancing and popping the champagne corks since their so-called success in the 2019 general election. They don’t give a hoot about the poor governance of the country, the lacklustre leadership of the country, the insecurity and gradual descent into anarchy, the indifference of President Buhari to the virtual breakdown of law and order, the enablement his government is giving to “herdsmen from neigbhouring countries” to come into the country and kill Nigerians, burn down communities without consequences, etc. It is just beyond comprehension.

The questions some of us are asking are, why did Buhari come back from retirement to contest elections? Why? He contested every presidential election since 2003 and failed three times before succeeding in his fourth attempt. One would have thought he came prepared to change things for the better. Well, if he came prepared, it sure wasn’t for the good of country. He plunged the economy into recession a few months after he took office. He approaches everything with such indolent pace that you would think he was the one that created time. He refused or neglected to appoint a cabinet several months after assuming office in 2015. Throughout his first term, the country struggled like a chicken that perched on a string in high wind. After scrapping through four years and creating such major rift in our body politic, why did he seek another term? Was it to impoverish Nigerians the more and destroy the country altogether? What was his motivation for seeking a second term? Because I really don’t understand.

We had been inundated with Buhari’s good intentions about our beloved country by his apologists. We were told he was destined to turn things around for the better and “build the Nigeria of our dreams”. Has he? He was described as a born-again phenomenon by no less a person than Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka himself at a time the danger signals had become ringing handbells. Is he?

To defenders and apologists of such line of thought, intentions matter only insofar as they cause you to take actions that make the lives of the people better. Your actions and the consequences are more important than your intentions because the highway to even hell is paved with good intentions. From the gathering clouds of frustration and public unease about his government, such sermons are destined to fail. When he was declared winner of the February election by an electoral umpire that did its job with a great deal of cunning, there were hisses of frustration and suspicion from well-meaning Nigerians. The generality of the population wore mournful look, it was as if a requiem mass had been declared. 

Just two months after he took the oath of office for a second term, many Nigerians are already tired of him and are gloomy about the country’s future.

Resentment they say infects, hunger fuels the people’s anger. But crippled by self-destructive arrogance, this government is not about to accept responsibility for the majesty of its failure, rather it is consumed by suspicion and fear of the word “revolution”. Anyone, who criticises it is suddenly a marked man, and faces the possibility of being hit with charges of terrorism, if not treason.  The person is brought before a bendable judge ever so willing to grant obnoxious orders to give legitimacy to human rights abuses, impunity and violation of the constitution of Nigeria.

Bizarrely, some of those, who sacrificed their hard-earned reputations to support him in 2015 and even did everything in the book to undermine the opposition against his re-election, are suddenly questioning how he could have won a re-election in 2019. Others including some people that supported him in 2015 are mobilising protests across the country against his poor leadership and sheer ineptitude. Their actions are direct consequences of hope deferred. Elections it is said have consequences.

Since Buhari mounted the saddle, Nigeria has been in decline, accelerated partly by clannish policies, incompetent appointments and putting square pegs in round holes, bigotry, feudal mindset of conquest and a colonising mentality, a lack of decisiveness on matters requiring urgent attention, general lethargic decision process, etc. The economy is in a shambles today for no other reason but poor leadership. Unprecedented level of poverty, insecurity and a near-complete breakdown of law and order is a telling indictment of the president. Short of the civil war, at no time has Nigeria faced such daily human carnage caused by kidnappers, herdsmen, terrorists, bandits and other non-state actors. And never before have we seen such feeble responses from a government and a president.

A party that rode to power on the back of protests, scalding and unrelenting criticisms of the previous government, a party that was guilty of the most shameless politicisation of the insecurity in the country when it was in the opposition, has suddenly become intolerant of protests and criticisms. 

Now let us look at the reasons for the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore’s arrest. He called for protests against this government’s poor leadership under the banner headline: RevolutionNow! He was immediately arrested by the Department of State Services. The police immediately declared that his call amounted to treasonable felony. How?

Then a judge granted his detention for 45 days, half of the 90 days the government had applied for. What was that? Where did the judge derive such powers to curtail a man’s freedom for that length of time when the condition precedent had not been met by the government?

I have often said impunity under any guise will be minimal if judges have the courage to rise to their true calling – the protection of the weak from the over-reach of the powerful. But from what we have seen and will continue to see, the judges are now part of a conspiracy against the vulnerable, contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

In Sowore’s case as in many other cases before them, judges are being used by government to exert unmerited punishment on individuals it targets over political disagreement. By granting DSS a 45-day detention order, Justice Taiwo Taiwo exercised powers above his legitimate scope. He has displayed a willingness to be used to legitimise impunity and tyranny of the powerful. In other words, Justice Taiwo has already sentenced Sowore through the back door to 45 days in prison, renewable for another term of 45 days on fresh application, even before being formally charged with a crime. The judge should have known better about protecting human rights and upholding the constitution. Under the Terrorism Act 2011, under which the request to detain Sowore was made and granted, an accused is allowed to be detained for a total of 90 days at first instance, but with conditions precedent. One of which is that the security agency seeking to hold the individual must show that the individual is a member of a terrorist organisation that has been proscribed.

The questions we should all naturally ask Justice Taiwo are: did the DSS meet this important bar? Is Sowore a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation? If yes, which terrorist organisation does he belong to? Why did the judge ignore this fundamental requirement and condition precedent to grant a 45-day renewable detention order?

It was the high probability of abuse that the law enforcement agencies could put the Act to, as a pretext to keep people in detention for extended periods that led human rights groups to mount a spirited opposition to the 90-day detention approved by the Act. Now those fears are coming to pass. The Sowore detention debacle is an opportunity to actually test the constitutionality of such sweeping powers contained in the Act, which clearly breach the constitution of Nigeria which says an individual cannot be detained beyond 48 hours without being charged to court. Please note that Sowore has not even been charged yet.

Also under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, sections 293 to 296, the court is empowered to grant law enforcement agencies extended detention of a defendant for a total of 42 days broken into 14 days per application. One is at a loss why the court granted DSS 45 days in one fell swoop.

You see, Decree No. 2 of 1984 has clearly reared its ugly head in another guise. The government is now using the courts to legitimise its fantasies of human rights abuses, impunity, oppression of the people, violation of the rule of law – which the president once argued albeit, perversely must be Subject To The Supremacy Of National Security, As His Government Deems Fit.

Shaka Momodu is an editor with thisdaylive.com

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Three Per Cent Of Our Men Are Corrupt, Says EFCC Official

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 12:54pm


Head of the North East zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Michael Wetkas, on Thursday said that three per cent of his men are corrupt. 

Wetkas was speaking in Gombe State, at a gathering with members of the public and civil society organisations, according to a report by PUNCH. 

He said, “There are about three per cent of our men that are corrupt. We are not happy seeing people go to jail. But that is what we have signed to do.”

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Goodluck Jonathan Is Not An Igbo Hero, He Is A Phenakistoscope By Churchill Okonkwo

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 12:53pm


The Belgian investor and physicist, Joseph Plateau(1801-1883), pioneered one of the first devices aimed at making pictures that seemed to move. He studied various optical illusions that seemed to result from the persistence of the image on the retina of the eye after the image had passed from view. In 1832, he built an apparatus consisting of a flat wheel on which were sequential images of someone dancing. When the wheel was turned, the dancer was ‘seen’ to execute the dance. Plateau chose a revealing name ‘phenakistiscope’, meaning ‘deceitful view’ for his invention. These images did not move, but they looked like they did.

The illusionary transformation of Igboland by Goodluck Jonathan is like a flat wheel on which hand-sketched sequential images of good roads, bridges, schools, airports, and rail lines were placed. When surrogates of Jonathan turn the wheel, the illusions of the imaginary projects were “seen” and promoted as achievements. But in reality, roads, rail lines, airports, and bridges were not constructed - but it looked like they were.It is all a phenakistiscope. 

One of the most ridiculous responses I get when I criticise Buhari is that I should stop complaining since I helped him defeat the undisputable political hero of Ndigbo, Goodluck Jonathan. Nothing could be furthest from the truth than this. The false perception that Jonathan is the best thing that happened to Ndigbo is done through the illusory truth effect, a thinking error in our minds that happens when false statements are repeated many times and we begin to see them as true.

The lies about how Jonathan paid for and commissioned the 2nd Niger Bridge, for example, sound like facts to those, who have been conditioned to misrecognise the truth. When he showed up at the bank of the River Niger with Peter Obi and flagged off the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge, Igbos saw illusions of a completed bridge. 

Goodluck Jonathan is not an Igbo hero. If he is, he wouldn’t have signed up to a private-public partnership bridge project that would have required Igbos to, forever, pay at toll gates on the bridge. That bridge is being completed today, not by our hero Jonathan or Obasanjo, but by the one we hate, Muhammadu Buhari. Jonathan is, therefore, not an Igbo hero but a phenakistiscope. 

I understand the attempt to hold on to a Nigerian President of Ijaw extraction with “Igbo name” and “Igbo wife” as our hero. But sometimes, holding on means letting go. I am, therefore, appealing to the GJE’s surrogates to let go of that era when Igbos were deceived to believe that without Jonathan, Igboland would have been turned into a wasteland. On the contrary, it was Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party that turned Igboland to a wasteland. 

Let me remind those still living in the graveyards of yester-years of what was. Our yesteryears were locust-infested; they were years for hunters with inexhaustible gunpowder; years when Patience Jonathan was building hotels, siphoning billions and building mansions all over Nigeria while Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt expressways deteriorated. 

Jonathan is not an Igbo hero. How could he be when under his watch, we had mistresses like Diezani Alison-Madueke accumulating billions of naira and pieces of jewelry worth millions of dollars while pension benefits to retired Biafran police officers, our real heroes, were being neglected. It is ironic that our enemy, Buhari, and not our hero, Jonathan, wiped away the tears of our real heroes. Jonathan is, therefore, not an Igbo hero but a phenakistiscope. 

He is not an Igbo hero. How could he be when under his watch, we had National Security Adviser that turned himself into a ‘Father Christmas’, but instead of giving the kids, he gave the fire-breathing monsters that plundered the national wealth. The billions of dollars squandered by Sambo Dasuki and Jonathan would have been enough to change the economic status of many Nigerians and Igbo youths. 

Under Jonathan’s watch, Enugu Airport was “converted” to international status without any infrastructural upgrade. If he is an Igbo hero and if the likes of Stella Oduah has the interest of Igbo at heart, Enugu airport would have been upgraded to a standard befitting of an international airport like the one in Port Harcourt. 

As an elder, when I write on Igbo matters in Nigeria, it is not because of the sweetness of words in my mouth; it is because I see something, which the young ones do not see. I have observed with sadness, the Obis and the Adas that spend their time and money peddling a ludicrous, social media version of phenakistiscopethat Jonathan is an Igbo hero. He is not.

The repetition of the lie that portrays Jonathan as an Igbo hero is allowing public deception of Igbos to go unchecked. The political class of Igbo descent that enriched themselves and their families under him has circled the heart of Igbos with high walls of lies! 

It is, however, my duty to tell all Igbos that the truth is beyond the walls and without meeting the truth, we cannot meet our freedom! No one wants to be called fragile. But if you still believe that Jonathan is an Igbo hero, then, you are fragile and have low emotional tolerance for accepting the truth that will set you free. 

I get it; an offended heart is the breeding ground of deception. So, because of Buhari’s real and imagined marginalisation of Ndigbo in political appointments, we made our heart a breeding ground for deception? Too bad. 

Brothers and sister, the truth that will set us free is the realisation that Jonathan is not an Igbo hero. The very unfortunate thing is that the autopilot system of holding on to him as an Igbo hero is not well calibrated for the present political environment in Nigeria.

Jonathan belongs to yesterday, that yesterday is gone.We can’t change yesterday but we can make the most of today. We can’t go back – but we can move forward.It is not complicated.Let us think about tomorrow and stop wishing for Jonathan’s yesterday with aides, who grew the size of their stomachs and pockets while the rest of us are wallowing in poverty.

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

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Van Dijk Wins UEFA Player Of The Year

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 11:49am


Liverpool defender, Virgil Van Dijk, has been named UEFA Men’s player of the year.

He was announced winner of the award at a ceremony held in Monaco, France, on Thursday.

The Dutch international won the award ahead of former winners Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

In the season under review, Van Dijk scored nine goals in 59 appearances for club and country.

Van Dijk played 4,465 minutes for Liverpool winning 303 duels in the process.

Earlier at the event, 32 teams for the 2019/ 2020 Champions League season were drawn into eight groups.

The group stage of the 2019/2020 season is expected to start on September 17.

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Buhari Taking Nigeria Off World's Powerful Table –Moghalu

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 11:42am


The Presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, has chided President Muhammadu Buhari over his absence at the recently held G7 Summit in France.

In a post on Twitter, Moghalu said, “It’s sad that @NGRPresident of Africa’s supposedly largest economy wasn’t invited to the G7 summit in France but Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa were. 

“Our country should be at the table, not on the menu. Obasanjo, like him or not, was at the table. 

“The point is that South Africa is virtually always at the table, it is a member of the G20, but Nigeria is not. Why? 

“That Nigeria’s standing in the world has declined is a fact that has practical implications for us here at home, and it is also a reflection of our domestic weakness.

“In my view, Nigeria has been in decline for the past decade essentially. It’s just gotten so worse in recent years. So, I am not ascribing this collective reality only to one leader or government.”

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Ghana Seeks To Extradite Nigerian Kidnap Suspect

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 11:12am


Ghana Police Head

Ghana Police Head

China Nnodim, a Nigerian, faces extradition to Ghana over investigations by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Ghana Police Service in order to face charges of suspected kidnapping.

A collaboration between the Ghana Interpol and its Nigerian counterpart led to the arrest of Nnodim in Nigeria on August 2.

However, he cannot be taken to Ghana until the process for his extradition has been completed.

Two others, Samuel Udoetuk-Willis and John Oji, both Nigerians, have also been arrested in connection with the case.

Udoetuk-Willis, who lived in Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana, was the first to be arrested, and upon police interrogation and investigation, Oji was picked up in Togo.

Operatives of National Agency for the Prohibition in Trafficking of Persons confirmed the arrest.

Nnodim is believed to be part of a cross-border criminal gang whose activities include kidnapping and have been under security watch of the governments of Nigeria and Ghana.

An official of NAPTIP, Victoria Ijampy, in a statement on behalf of the Head, Press and Public Relations of the organisation, said, “Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition in Trafficking of Persons have arrested one Chika Nnodim for alleged involvement in the kidnap of three Ghanaian girls from Ghana to Nigeria.

“The suspect has also been handed over to the office of the Inspector-General of Police for further investigation.

“The suspect, who is believed to be part of a cross-border criminal gang and have been under security watch of the governments of Nigeria and Ghana, was nabbed by NAPTIP officials after a very painstaking investigation at various locations within Nigeria and Ghana.

“He and two other Nigerians, Udoetuk-Willis and Oji, were alleged to have been involved in the kidnapping of three Ghanaian girls aged between 15 and 21 years.

“The case was reported to the agency by the Ghana High Commission in Abuja in April 2019.

“The agency collaborated with relevant law enforcement agencies within Nigeria and Ghana in the investigation and made the arrests.”

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N1.6bn Fraud: EFCC To Appeal Dudafa’s Acquittal By Court

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 11:04am


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said that it would appeal a judgement by the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday which discharged and acquitted Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, and Joseph Iwuejo, a banker.

The court acquitted Dudafa on charges of money laundering and conspiracy preferred against him by the EFCC.

The commission had accused Dudafa and Iwuejo of laundering N1.6bn. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Court Discharges Ex-President Jonathan's Aide Accused Of N1.6bn Fraud 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

Reacting to the judgement, the EFCC said it is studying the details of the judgment and will approach the appeal court immediately.

The anti-graft agency said that the defendants allegedly conspired and laundered the fund through the accounts of A.B. Wise Resources Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Rotato Interlink Service Limited, Pluto Property and Services Limited, and De-jakes Restaurant Limited.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, thereby leading to their trial.

In his judgment on Thursday, Justice Muhammed Idris held that the prosecution, through their counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, failed to prove the charges against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Idris further held that the prosecution failed to call “material witnesses”, including former President Jonathan, one Somprei Omeibi, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, and ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The Judge also held that “The prosecution did its best, but it failed to conclude an investigation before going to court”.

Justice Idris dismissed the entire 22 counts against Dudafa and Iwuejo before discharging and acquitting them.

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Travel Agent Arraigned Over N9.7m Fraud

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 10:58am


A Magistrate Court in Lagos on Thursday arraigned a travel agent, Adedoyin Abudu, 39, who was alleged to have defrauded his clients of N9.7m under the guise of securing traveling tickets for him.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, prosecutor of the case, Insp. Ben Ekundayo, said the offence was committed by the defendant between June and August in Lagos Island.

He disclosed that his victims were one Mr Olayinka Olajuwon and the people introduced to him by Olajuwon. Ekundayo said the agreement between the victims and suspect was to help them secure travel tickets to the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, which he failed to do.

He said “The defendant, who was referred to the complainant, said he was a travel agent and was paid to book travelling tickets for the complainant and his friends to UK and Dubai.

“The defendant, however, converted the money to his personal use.”

Ekundayo said that the offences contravened Sections 314 (1)(a) and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2005. Section 314 (1)(a) carries 15 years imprisonment for fraud, while section 287 stipulates three years imprisonment for theft.

However, the Magistrate, Mrs A. M. Olumide-Fusika, granted Abudu a N2m bail with two sureties in like sum. She then adjourned the case until September 2, 2019.

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Ex-Bolt Driver Narrates Encounter With Armed Robbers In Lagos

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 10:41am


A former driver with cab hailing provider, Bolt, has narrated his bitter ordeal at the hands of some armed robbers while working with the company.

Alimi Monsua, who has since joined Uber, another player in that industry, said that after being dispossessed of his valuables, the robbers made an attempt to harm him.

According to him, he managed to escape with his life through the mercies of God.

He said, “On July 12, 2019 at about 5:00am, I received a request from someone at Idi-Oro in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos and the rider said he was going to Ikeja, which was actually my route.

“On reaching the pickup point at Conoil in Idi-Oro, I had to wait for over 10 minutes before the arrival of two guys which I confirmed to be the ones who requested for a ride.

“They got into the car and one of them sat beside me in the front seat while the other guy sat in the back seat directly behind me.

“Soon, they requested that I should take them to Ajao Estate but I declined and I advised them to take another cab.

“It was at that point the guy sitting behind me ordered me to surrender my phones. I declined and immediately the second guy started dragging the phone from my hand.

“When I yelled out for help, the guy behind me pointed a gun to my head and tried to harm me.

“At that point, I had to let go of my three phones. They collected all the money I had on me, came down from my car and ran away.

“At about 8:00am, I rushed to retrieve my SIM cards, reported the matter to the police at the police and also called Bolt’s Support Service to inform them of the situation.

“They advised me to send a mail and call back later, so I called back after sending the mail and the lady promised to channel my complaint to Bolt authorities.

“However, up until this moment, I have not received any message from the company.

“I still have the IMEI and serial numbers of all the phones that were stolen from me, and I have submitted every necessary document to the police for investigation.”

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1,460 Nigerians Killed By Bandits In Seven Months

Sahara Reporters - 29 August 2019 - 8:56am


The Nigerian Government on Thursday said that about 330 attacks by bandits and 1,460 deaths were recorded within the last seven months in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Amina Shamaki, made this known at the opening of Federal and States Security Administrators’ meeting in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

Shamaki however, said the attacks have been on the decline.

She noted that the North West, which was one of the most peaceful zones of the country, had in the last few years witnessed attacks by bandits.

She said, “From January to July, 2019, about 330 attacks were recorded, resulting in the deaths of about 1,460 civilians.

“However, between June and July, 2019, the number of incidents declined, especially in Zamfara State, that had been the epicentre of armed banditry.

“The Federal Government is doing a lot to improve border security with a view to addressing some of these challenges.”

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